Hedges, GA to Gadsden, AL

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The bridge over Yellow Creek has been moved to Gadsden, about 13 miles to the south. Photo by Jeremy Dupree, September 2008.

First built around 1890, the Chattanooga Southern Railway ran from Chattanooga, TN, southwards through the northwest corner of Georgia, and into Gadsden, AL. The line eventually came under the ownership of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway in 1911, the Southern Railway in 1971, and finally Norfolk Southern.

The line mainly survived on coal traffic generated by mining at Lookout Mountain. When mining production there decreased in the 1950s, the line continued as a bridge line for other railroads.

As traffic along the line diminished, so did the need to maintain the line; under Southern's ownership, parts of the line began to be abandoned. Today, only the northern 23 miles of the line are still operated by the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway in order to serve a chemical plant at Hedges, GA (near Kensington). Otherwise, the rest of the line has since been abandoned, all the way to the southern end of the line at Gadsden.

The Chatooga & Chickamauga abandoned the remaining 23 miles of ROW in 2008/09 when the Chemical plant in Kensington closed.

Sean
Knoxville, TN
7/6/2010

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On September 11, 1989, Chattooga & Chickamauga Railway leased the portion of the TAG from Chattanooga to Hedges from Norfolk Southern. In 2009 the only remaining customer on the line, Dow Riechold Chemical at Kensington, closed down and C & C let their lease expire and the line returned to NS 9/11/2009. The line has been out of service from Hedges to Chattanooga since this date with unknown future plans.

One of your TAG picture shows the piers of the former bridge, which was three span, over Yellow Creek. Within the last couple of years, NS recycled one of these spans to build a new overpass over highway US27 on the south side of Rome, GA.

Harold Holiman
LaFaFayette, GA
10/11/2010

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I ment to say that the new overpass on the NS track over US-27 which utilizes one of the old TAG bridge spans, is on the north side of Rome rather than on the South side of Rome. Sorry for the mistake.

Harold

Harold Holiman
LaFayette, GA
10/12/2010

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Does anyone know exactly where the rail line is in Chattanooga? I'd like to go look at it. I'm a grad student of landscape architecture at LSU and we often design former rail line sites.

Thanks!

Susannah
New Orleans, LA
2/7/2011

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The Tag Railyard and Line is located in the Alton Park District of Chattanooga. You can pull up Google Earth and follow the tracks.

Jeremy Dupree
Fort Payne, AL
2/8/2011

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Norfolk Southern might use this line as a bridge route while leasing the line to the ATN to Chattanooga but so far I have not had a reply from NS yet just keep prayin for this line

Colt Locklear
Fort Payne, AL
8/12/2011

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Im a train Lover I like to do histroy on tag rail road.

Jeff Howell
Rainbow City , AL
3/30/2012

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I drive between Huntsville, AL and Marietta, GA regularly. Out of curiosity, I drove through parts of Menlo, GA. where this line ran through. The evidence is there that a rail line ran through that town...just hard to see. Someone has tractor trailers parked along the route and there's an ATV road going north.

John
Marietta, GA
5/25/2012

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The C&C didn't abandon the 23 mile remnant. It was not theirs to abandon. They leased it from NS and the track is still in place at least for now. Harold, it has been a while since I was in Gadsden and counted the old Yellow Creek trestle segments. Where did you hear that NS recycled some of it into the Rome overpass? If anyone is interested in TAG history, there is a TAG Society as well as a TAG Yahoo group.

Warren D. Stephens
Chattooga, County, GA
9/16/2012

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When i took pictures in 2008 posted on this website, the Alabama span was missing unless I overlooked it.I found the Georgia and Tennessee span.

Jeremy Dupree
Fort Payne, AL
9/26/2012

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The Alabama and Georgia span is in the railyard. It Was the Tennesse span that was missing. Sorry for the misinformation.

Jeremy Dupree
Fort Payne, AL
9/26/2012

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I'm renting a cabin just south of Chattanooga. GA 193 follows the railroad for a ways. At this time, the crossings have been removed.

Tommy
Paris, TN
10/9/2012

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This line isn't completely dead I live in summerville and and have all 21 years of my life the line is used in the fall for a few events in our town called "sumnelly" with vendors and food for the past 8 years I think where I belive it's a Baldwin 2-8-0 pulls 5-8 passenger cars with people who ride it to our town and they put in a turn table about 5-7 years ago also for the denim mill in trion in my county 8 miles north on the line

Jake
summerville, GA
9/22/2014

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Jake: This is the TAG line that ran through Menlo, not the active old Central of GA line that still exists through Summerville.

LaFayette Underground
LaFayette, GA
12/21/2014

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